CSF Top Ten Suggestions
1. WITH CANCER, THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME, YOU GET ONLY ONE CHANCE -
Please do everything within your physical, emotional, psychological and mental power in order to stick to the treatment plan developed by the team that you have assembled. It won’t be easy but YOU MUST BE THE CAPTAIN OF YOUR OWN SHIP.
2. Pathology -
It’s imperative that the pathology report is able to diagnose the type of cancer correctly. A second opinion on Pathology is a very good idea (especially in rare cancers).
3. Patient Knowledge -
Ignorance may be bliss in some situations but blind faith is not helpful. We believe the patient or caregiver should become a subject matter expert on all items related to his/her type of cancer. Some helpful starting points,
Facebook.com support groups
4. Second Opinion -
CSF suggests a second opinion from a highly regarded Doctor in the field that covers the patient’s specific type of cancer. This is especially true in cancers that are rare and not widely known or treated. Second opinions could be, but are not limited to, diagnosis, treatment plans, surgical procedures, pathology reports, and radiation plans.
5. Put together a knowledgeable team that you feel confident with -
Even if that means you need to travel or that your team includes doctors from different hospitals (please refer to #7 for financial resources). Your team may include, but is not limited to, local oncologists, top oncologist in the field, surgical oncologist (orthopedic oncologists), radiation oncologists, cardio oncologists, rehabilitation specialists, psychologists, nutritionists and potentially some sort of spiritual support.
6. NETWORK and ASK FOR HELP -
Who will help you when you are focusing on your treatment? Your primary focus during your treatment phase will be you and your cancer journey. All outside distractions, if possible, should hopefully be kept to a minimum. ASK FOR HELP. People will want to help and support you but far to often don’t know what is needed. Tell them. Be specific. On the other hand, if you’re a friend or family member, don’t wait to be asked. Find out what’s needed and ACT. The patient may not even know what is needed.
7. FINANCIAL SITUATION -
Take stock of your financial situation and look into every possible option for outside help. Some options are listed below.
MISC from Cancer.net
8. INSURANCE -
If you are healthy, don’t wait a day to put your insurances in order. Personally, having a good medical insurance plan and a life insurance policy in place took loads of stress off my shoulders during my cancer journey. During treatment, consider asking a trusted friend or family member to help handle the intricacies of your insurance claims and medical bills.
9. Find information and discuss with your medical team -
Personalized/targeted cancer treatments may help compliment your treatment plan. Some potential examples are stated below.
10. DO NOT forget mental/emotional help. Reach out.
Sun Tzu - The Art of War
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.